It has been a while coming but it appears now that I will be receiving my Fellow Craft Degree on the 10th of April. I almost hesitate to write about it in fear that by writing about it, it won’t happen (you know, that old wives tale). I went to fellowship on Tuesday which was my first since I went on my four week hiatus. I was received with welcoming arms and realized that I really did miss the brothers and their jovial ways. I learned about the building (we are having a rough time getting our roof fixed), and in general was told that it is taking me entirely too long to move on to the next step.
While being an Entered Apprentice has it’s downfalls it also has its subtle benefits. One is that you being that of Entered Apprentice only are often looked over when senior members of the lodge are discussing issues, almost like you are too young to realize what they are talking about. During these discussions I came to reality check, that sometimes people, even Masons, don’t understand the difference between being a leader and being a manager.
See being a manager means you are in charge of a bunch of people, and they listen to you out of fear of losing their job, or some others only listen to you in attempts to further their own career. Being a leader means that people listen to you because they respect your opinion and feel that by following your direction, they are doing the right thing. See the difference? Being a manager @ McDonalds you have the potential for being a leader, but because it is easier and quicker people usually resort to being a manger (threatening people with adverse actions, making excuses, etc). Instead of inspiring work above and beyond you are rewarding people for being average, by staying out of trouble.
The greatest lesson I learned in the military was sometimes, as an officer, you are going to have leadership opportunities where you will be put in charge of people that are much older than yourself, and they have sometimes 20 years of experience vs. your handful. When put in that situation, you worry less about your boss and more about your subordinates. This individual can make or break you, and if you manage them, they will break you. In Masonry, as younger Masons we need to make sure that the old hats who have been doing this sometimes longer than we have been alive, that we don’t manage them, we lead. I think if we are effective leaders, and brothers, that the sometimes resentment between young and old can be subdued.
I don’t want to belabor the point too much, but I guess I wanted to write down something about my feelings in regards to leadership.
Funny, first I was writing about my FC degree date, next thing you know I am rambling about leadership.